Week at the beach

[By Murray Dewhurst in Ohiwa]

We escaped the city for a week at Ohiwa beach. A week of camping, swimming, fishing and naturally sketching the stuff you get up to when on holiday. Well, apart from the paraglider anyway.

The week started in a laid back fashion, sketching from the tent door, with a view to the Pacific Ocean. The volcano, Whakaari/White Island is nearly always present from this part of the Bay of Plenty, smoking on the horizon, a sobering reminder of the recent disaster.

Here’s some of the stuff you sketch when you’re at the beach with time on your hands – shells, beach views, sun umbrellas, cheeky wekas and old cow vertebrae (cow vertebrae?).

Some unexpected subject matter at the beach – not one – but two old Commer vans hiding under a tree on the side of the road – lots of layers of rust to sketch…

The aforementioned paraglider dropped by one day…

“The one that got away” was huge of course. Honestly it was! Bloody thing took our line, fancy surfcasting sinker and triple hook set-up (the sinkers designed to dig into the sand but release eventually when you wind it in – see below).

We did catch a couple of small (but legal size) Kahawai and had a lot of fun doing it. Other fishers were pulling in big trevally, until a 2 metre long bronze whaler shark started cruising the shallow water looking for tasty bits and pieces. I didn’t realise they came in that shallow – I’ll stand on the dry next time.

That’s one of the kahawai above, and the missing sinker set-up below…

Friends Emil and Nils trying to catch the big one…

A New Years Eve bonfire on the beach…

I liked this place – the ‘Barnacle Bar’ built in the sand on the beach above the high tide mark. Built by locals from driftwood, nikau fronds, bamboo and decorated with various bits of flotsam and jetsam. Old bouys, signs, flags (including a jolly roger that didn’t make it into the sketch) and even a couple of battered looking boogie boards decorated the place. You’ll need to bring your own refreshments though.

So, a busy week sketching, finished off with this cracker ’66 Dodge Sweptline — easily standing out from the modern utes and cars at the beach…

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